Teacher pay rise should see push for ‘trilingual Wales’, Conservatives say

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The Conservatives have said that the proposed increased stating salary for teachers announced by Education Minister Kirsty Williams today should be accompanied by a push for a “trilingual Wales”.

Shadow Minister for Education, Suzy Davies MS said that she welcomed the proposed pay rise for teachers and it should be used to plug gaps in key subjects such as modern foreign languages.

“We hope the starting salary is also accompanied by a strong focus on secondary schools, where there are gaps in some key subjects,” she said.

“Welsh Conservatives would like to see a push for MFL in particular as we want to see a trilingual Wales.”

Suzy Davies also aid that Teachers were “our unsung heroes and during this pandemic” and that “they deserve recognition in going to extraordinary lengths to provide help and assistance to their pupils”.

“Today recommendation is what I have been pushing for and that is to reward our teachers with a much-needed pay rise.”

 

‘Different’

Education Minister Kirsty Williams this morning set out her proposals for teacher pay in Wales, following the publication of an Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB) report.

The Minister accepted in principle all of the report’s main recommendations and has also proposed:

  • Starting salaries for new teachers increased by 8.48%.
  • A 3.1% overall increase for the teachers’ pay bill in Wales
  • A 3.75% pay rise for teachers on the Main Pay Scale
  • An end to performance-related pay progression
  • The reintroduction of national pay scales.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “These proposed changes will help enable the development of a distinct national system that is fairer and more transparent for all teachers in Wales.

“This is only the second year since these powers were devolved and it is already clear that the approach here in Wales is developing very differently to that adopted previously.

“A number of important issues have also been addressed, including the introduction of experience based pay progression and national statutory pay scales; both improvements that the workforce have been calling for.”

‘Determination’

The Minister has also proposed a 2.75% pay raise for head teachers, deputy and assistant heads, unqualified teachers and leading practitioners, as well as teacher allowances – all greater than the 2.5% recommended by IWPRB.

Building upon the steps taken last year to encourage recruitment of new teachers, the proposed starting salary for new teachers increases to over £27,000 pa, teachers on the Main Pay Range receive at least a 3.75% rise and teachers on the Upper Pay Scale receive at least a 2.75% rise.

A new statutory five-point pay scale would also be introduced, so new teachers would advance to the maximum of the Main Pay Range in four years – a year quicker than has previously been the case.

“I would like to reemphasise our determination to promote teaching as a profession of choice for graduates and career changers,” Kirsty Williams said.

“I believe these changes to pay and conditions will continue to attract high-quality teachers to the profession in Wales.”

An eight-week consultation with stakeholders will now begin, before the final pay deal is agreed.

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